IEP FAQs: Is There a 10 Day Timeline for IEP Meetings?

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I want to ask for an IEP meeting at my daughter’s school. I don’t want to be put off like I have been in the past.

If a parent requests an IEP meeting, does the meeting have to be held within 10 days. Is this correct? I could not find a reference to it in IDEA 2004.

IDEA, the federal law and implementing regulations do not include a timeline for an IEP meeting when parents request a meeting to review or revise their child’s IEP.

There are timelines relating to evaluations for special education and eligibility meetings.

Your state regulations may have a timeline about parent requests for an IEP meeting. Or, there may be an opinion or guidance letter from the state that addresses the timeline.

Remember, if you made your request verbally, then you never did. If not in writing, it did not happen.

For information about what can trigger an IEP meeting:

  • search your state regulations
  • review IDEA (1414(D))
  • review the federal regulations (300.320 – 328)
  • re-read the Commentary to the federal regulations

Most state education departments post the Special Education Regulations on their website. Find your state’s website on the Directory of State Departments of Education on the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.

If you need to request a copy of your state regulations, you’ll find contact information here as well.

  1. My family requested my nephew a request for an IEP twice. Both times the school has made excuses and denied meeting for IEP. I read your site about writing the letter. First letter I wrote for an IEP request, they denied saying that the school of his choice no longer has the program when he was just in the program a year ago. The second request we made a request to transfer him to a school fifteen minutes away, they denied it. The school is giving my mom issues and discriminatory towards her because of how she dresses. My nephew was denied last year to go to the bathroom, he was then forced to clean his own urine. He got suspended for four days because he sprayed the teacher in the face. A week before school we went to the board to request a transfer, but was told we need to schedule a IEP

  2. I have an ARD next week for my son,, this will be the second time with the same school. I was able to read the first FIE, I realized my son was with in scope to be placed under IDEA. Well I am so scared because I do not know how to address the ARD next week. Please help????

  3. There has been agression in my son’s SDC towards him on various ocassions/ I have expressed the safety concern of the class setting. My son has been hit on various ocassions by a peer with explosive anger and I’ve called and emergency IEP to address the safety concern. How long does the SD have to respond as I am considering keeping him out of school until this is resolved.

  4. I have guardianship over my 5 year old step-grandson, who has Autism. They are taking his one on one away, and I have requested an emergency IEP meeting, how long do I have to wait before I receive the meeting.

  5. Is there a timeline in the summer for a Manifestation Determination meeting when it happened on the last day of school? Or does it carry over to the starting of the school year?

  6. Can you table signing the IEP for 10 days after attending an ARD meeting for looking it over and deciding you agree with everything in the IEP?

  7. I have a parent that is requesting another IEP for her son. Is there a time frame for the IEP to take place. Where can I find the regulations for California. We live in Los Angeles County

    Thank You

  8. My son has an iep in which an individualized health plan was to be created. I provided documentation on January 26 and to date I have not had a meeting after requesting one in writing.I live in Pa .My daughter is a member of the Bar, but does not specialize in this expertise. Please help, I have a sick child who is not receiving any consideration. I sent him to school after being out 5 days. He was to receive extended time on work and after returning, I received an email saying he would receive a zero if not completed. I explained I was working with him and said it would be sent. His backpack and locker were then searched when he said he did not have it.

  9. What can I do if I let an IEP run out of date – due to school being closed, because of bad weather? I am about to lose my job over this issue. What is the correct procedure to solve the problem?

  10. I live in Minnesota, and I was inquiring what the response time is after requesting a meeting to place a child on an IEP with her school. It has been put in writing sent via mail and a copy was also sent via email to the principal, teacher, counselor. I was told the response time was 10 school days. I have attempted to research this and I have been unsuccessful. Any information regarding the laws in Minnesota would be very much appreciated. Thank-you ~~!!

  11. Unless the kid is nonverbal, wouldn’t the kid tell the parent who bullied them?

    I know my kid would tell me without even asking.

    And I don’t know how I’d feel. My son has adhd and is in a special program for kids with behavioral needs, he’s in 1st grade and most of the kids his age have adhd. He has attacked other kids and has been attacked. When he attacked other children, he was punished in school and at home for it. He had to write apology notes too. When he was attacked, I didn’t need to know the other kids names because he told me. I trust my son’s school enough to discipline the other children without having to be told WHAT the punishment is, and if I didn’t trust them he’d be out of that school by now.

    Unless it’s a persistant problem, the discipline of the other children doesn’t concern me.

  12. There is no specific time line to requesting or scheduling an IEP meeting, accept the wording, “In a reasonable time.” So for me, I use 5 days (school week), as a reasonable time and give three suggested dates and times for the school to convene a meeting following those five days. The school then has to deny or accept my request. If they deny, they have to state a reason why they will not convene a meeting (documentation & paper trail). If they accept they will pick one of my dates or offer additionall dates to meet.

  13. Must I give a reason as to why I am requesting an IEP mtg?
    The school is not following the accommodations set forth in the current IEP, rather than using textbooks for one on one instruction, as agreed upon at the last IEP, they are using the e2020 computer program being that our son is Hospital/Homebound. Apparently, this makes it easier for the district to measure accountability and mastery. I have requested a mtg. however I keep getting e-mails sent to me, asking why I am requesting this mtg. They say that this is so they can write an agenda?

  14. We requested an IEP review meeeting in writing in early April. We were verbally told a few weeks later that the IEP is “closed” because our son’s Exit Summary was conducted in February (although he doesn’t graduate until June). We requested in writing again in early May and received a written response that the school will not hold a meeting to discuss our concerns but that we could have a meeting with the Principal and Superintendent but not to discuss our son’s special education. Can the district deny our request for an IEP meeting like this? Can our son arbitrarily lose his rights to FAPE?

  15. I want to know the IEP is usually a year long. When writing the Present Level” do we go back a year to determine if goals and objectives have been mastered or is it the present as of today?

  16. My husband and I were told from our sons psychologist the we should request his school for an i.e.p test. We did in writing that we would like a full i.e.p test done and told them they had thirty days to do it. I handed the note to school on 01/12/2010 and the principal called me on 1/26/2010 to tell me that they set up an sst meeting and that she doesn’t feel he needs an i.e.p test. So today my kid got suspended and I was told today that we can now have and sst meeting on thursday 3/11/2010. Went up to the school board and they told us that we won’t get an i.e.p test because we didn’t put that we would like him tested. now we will have to wait another sixty days after we put in another request. We have done everything that the school has asked us to do and now we feel like they don’t want to help our child.

  17. I need to know how I can reject psychological evaluation that I gave permission and received the result a year later,The IQ result 20 points less than previous and they described behavior concern that are not showing for the child.

  18. I have a 6 year-old daughter with apraxia, fine and motor skills disabilities. We live in San Jose, CA. She has been privately placed until recently. I explored placement in the school district. They offered a 3 year re-evaluation. School district offered two possible placements, a regular k program and a special day class, school district. I feel both placements are inappropriate. The last IEP took place a month ago; husband attended, not me. We have not answered to their offer. I am thinking about privately placing her again but I am figuring out placement and cost. I don’t want to waste her time going through the school district placement. Is there a time limit to answer to the school district? I am so tired of fighting the school district. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Josefina

  19. Thank you for this info–I was always told the district had 30 days–for everything. Then faulted for holding followup meetings to bring forward either our concerns with their program, or to try to hold a discussion in order to tweak the manner of delivery in the existing program.

    There was always a great discrepancy in the level of professional delivery (and ensuing results). The manner, language, and responses of our private professionals (psychologist, psychiatrist, therapists) was always so much more prepared that it made me sad to see what happened when his “special ed” teachers or even resource teachers could not see his intelligence instead of his weaknesses.

  20. I have a question. I am a special needs teacher in the middle school and have a demanding parent who wants done right now despite the time teachers have to gets done outside of the classroom or during school. When we have an IEP meeting, is there any time limit that the IEP needs to get done or turned in for school records?

    Another question that has concerned me for the past years working these special needs students. The No Child Behind Act, does this allow to run over (literally) or threaten suit against the school or harrass the teacher for something that their child can/cannot do in the line of education? How much can we take? Is this law misstated? Should it be “No Teacher Left Sane? Thank you

  21. need to know what should be in the request for the IEP meeting and who should I give it to. Can i request my child to be tested again.I feel as though she knows alot of the stuff they’re working on.Also, Who do I go to if I feel as though my child is not getting taught right or could be taught in a better manner?

  22. I’m in CA. My son suffered harassment due to disabiilty throughout Elem School and principal response was mostly ineffective. In middle school there have been occasional incidents but it just started being obviously disability related – ie. kids pointing at the spcl ed bus and saying its his bus and in classroom mimicing his stimming movements while saying ‘let’s all do the Matt” (his name) Learning from the past and trying to be more proactive I requested a meeting by email. After no response for three days called OCR and then amended my request to specify IEP meeting even included the “Dear Colegue letter.” Principal responded ‘its been addressed and no IEP meeting as not IEP but disciplinary issue.” Can they refuse to hold an IEP meeting? (have ignored past requests but never refused directly)

  23. Susie I feel for you and your child.

    I live in PA. My question is concerning an annual IEP meeting. My senior’s annual IEP ran out 9/08. Have tried to setup 3 annual IEP meetings, requests in writing, to no avail. Outstanding issues for transition, & 2nd half of the school yr. services, & readdressing goals have not been resolved & 2nd half of the school yr. & new classes start 1/26/09 or 1/27/09. Is there a time frame by law that states specific time or what is reasonable? Because of all the issues I am ready to consult a lawyer, but don’t think just a letter from lawyer will move anything along. I don’t want to do mediation. Am I required to do any other type of trying to work this out before bringing in a lawyer? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Pete…2, 16, 50, 84, 98 hike! Mary

  24. Lot of questions here. Why has the school decided to revise/change the IEP? Is it time for the annual review? Has an evaluation been completed to determine the child no longer needs “in-class support”? Has the entire IEP team met to discuss and determine the change? What is “support” – is this “specially designed instruction”? Have you seen any written school policy that explains the difference between “support” and “assistance”?

    You have the right to disagree with the school about your child’s needs and the proposed change. You need to discuss your concerns with the school – with the IEP team.

    Commentary to the federal regulations, p. 46685 states “If the parent needs further information about the proposed change or believes that a discussion with the IEP Team is necessary before deciding to change the IEP, the parent does not have to agree to the public agency’s request to amend the IEP without an IEP Team meeting.”

    Even if your child has been receiving special education services for some time, you have the right to disagree with the school’s decision to change. Put your concerns and objections in a letter. You need to write a letter in which you describe your concerns and objections to the proposed changes in the IEP. In your letter, request another IEP meeting to resolve these concerns.

    • State of NJ under (parents rights in special education handbook) Page 6 School district are mandated to respond to a parents request in writing. Whether it approves or denies that request. Yet our school district does not do this

  25. Does a school district have the right to change an IEP even if the parents do not agree to the changes? The school wants to change in-class support (they would have to hire a special ed. teacher) to in-class assistance (they would use an aid to help the child). I was told they have that right.

  26. Thank you for your help. Can you tell me, do notes taken during the eval time count as records? I was not allowed to look at the “notes” from the ot/pt/slp… as I was told those are not recordss, which I do not see why? Also, they want to have a second IEP to answer question I have in person and not in writing. I will not do mediation, as then I can not ask questions without the school lawyer present. I have major anxiety and face to face I just cannot do. I think I will have to fix my kid on my own, but feel the need to file a complaint, as I feel they have delayed services for my son. I told the the parts of the IEP I was ready to go with, but that is all delayed until a 2nd IEP???? Thank you!!!! I have no one in my corner at this time and little help. I am so sad and depressed over having a child god messed up. The schools–

  27. At the end of today, I was told that on 12-8 there will be a new IEP meeting with the whole team. I have writen out request for some of their denial, such as using a bear hug for my son who has SID. They would use tvest, but no hug and I asked for a explaination in writing. Anyway, the new IEP meeting is to answer all my questions in person not in writing. No lawyer since I agreed to no mediation. I later e-mail and said that the parts of the IEP I had no question on I would sign off on, but was told no, a new IEP will get together. I had wanted to sign off on some of the parts to get services moving, but they are now delaying this more. His short eval was10-20. The first IEP was 11-10 and then the new on is 12-8. This process just crazy! At this point I just want a few of the services the put in the IEP and go. What can I do?

  28. Susie do NOT under any circumstances let them railroad you!!! Do not be intimidated by the school! Get your own lawyer who is versed in special ed or disability law. You have legal rights and so does your child. They cannot force an inappropriate IEP on you you do NOT have to accept anything they throw at you if you do not agree. You are well within your rights to ask for mediation since you did not agree with some of it. DO NOT let them scare you with their lawyer. Think of this: Schools will always try to do what is best for the school, and not always what is best or appropriate for your child. They cannot violate your legal right to view your son’s records. The purpose of an IEP is to determine appropriate services for your child where he will be able to make progress in his education. And that includes a correct evaluation/diagnosis.

  29. I was a little long winded–sorry. I just want to know if with a lawyer will they make me accept all of their plan. My little guy does get some outside services too, but just needs a little more. The school wants to know where he is getting other services, but I would rather they not know, as I am afraid of all of this on his record when he starts k-school. He will be ok, just going to take some help. I have not been the easiest to work with, but they have equal share in the tension. When I tried to be more of a team player, it blew up in my face.

  30. My 4-year old has an IEP draft. I have been very confused on some of it. Once I think I understand, they bring up a different angle. I said I did not want one part of the IEP, which I assumed he would have the full preschool time. Later I was told he would not get extended preschool time. The eval was done in 12 visits. I have asked to look at his records, I was treated very poorly for doing so. Then later they said the eval was done and not the full 60 days I was always told before. Now I have more questions about the IEP. I said I wanted forms for mediation. Now, after about a week of calls not returned, I have been told that I have to meet with them and the school’s lawyer because I asked for mediation. Since this is a holiday, the meeting will not be done until 12-8, delaying services more.

  31. We’ve heard from TX, SC, NY and CA – the procedures and timelines are different in each state. I think if more people add information, we will continue to see significant differences in how requests for review and revision of the IEP are handled.

  32. Calif Ed Code:
    56343.5. A meeting of an individualized education program team requested by a parent to review an individualized education program pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56343 shall be held within 30 days, not counting days between the pupil’s regular school sessions, terms, or days of school vacation in excess of five school days, from the date of receipt of the parent’s written request. If a parent makes an oral request, the local educational agency shall notify the parent of the need for a written request and the procedure for filing a written request.

  33. My experience in NY has been that most State offices of SE Quality Assurance expect that when a parent requests a program review, the meeting will be held such that any changes to the IEP will be able to begin within 60 school days of the request.

    In NY, there is a requirement that the Board of Education must approve or remand the initial IEP and any changes as they are made. A Board seldom exercises this requirement in any meaningful way. All special education cases are usually rubber stamped. However, this step must be factored into the 60 school day expectation.

    There is a specific state regulation that has led to this interpretation.

  34. I would imaging that when writing the IDEA, Congress could not imagine or predict some of the power struggles that parents face when advocating for their child.

    It is up to us as parents to let our congressmen/women know in a constructive way that there are some details that are worthy of revision in the IDEA.

    These anattended details are forming a simi colon after the word No in the NCLB.

    We need to ask Congress for a new and improved IDEA that allows kids in special education the opportunity to be in a higher “tax” bracket once they enter the workforce than those of years past.

    Imagine that.

  35. When writing the new IEP book, I was surprised to learn that there is no timeline (in federal law or regs) to review and revise the child’s IEP. When writing state regs, many (or most) states will not create a timeline if they are not required to do so.

    Parents and school personnel have the right to request a meeting to review and/or revise the child’s IEP. If schools are not required to hold a meeting or take action within a specified timeframe, this leads to long delays and meetings that are never held at all.

  36. In SC, when a school “contemplates” expulsion, a manifestation has to be held immediately but not less than ten days from the time. Could this be the time limit that you are referring to?

    In our district, an expulsion hearing is held to determine if a manifestation determination meeting will occur. In my child’s case, it took several weeks for a manifestation determination meeting.

  37. In reading other forums, I have read that while some states do not have a timeline, some do not even require that the school hold a requested meeting. I was amazed by these comments. I did not realize that this was an option for schools. I assume that they would have to give PWN of Refusal.

    In TX schools must hold an IEP/ARD meeting within a reasonable time, or request that the state set up mediation over the request. I am curious to see what responses you receive from readers.

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